I want to practice the 5 Senses Mindfulness soothing technique, and so my “homework” from therapy is to do it every day for two weeks. I figured I would log each day’s experience here because it will also be a helpful writing practice.
May 21, 2019 – Day 1
A distant dog barks. Followed by a loud snap and crack of branches being cut down by my neighbor. Kids laughing from afar. A basketball hits the ground, sort of hollow. A diesel engine rumbles as a truck drives by. All these sounds seem to float or echo down the valley, hanging in the air longer than they should. A slow and quiet breeze rustles the leaves above my head. Then it falls quiet for a moment, the only sound a warble and chirp of an unseen bird.
The immediate scent of wild roses. The air thick with a sweet scent tinged with a touch of earthiness. The breeze shifts and now it is the subtle green scent of damp grass. For a brief moment the roses and grass are replaced by the acidic smoke of a cigarette. As the breeze takes that away, I now can hone in on the smell of damp earth.
So much vibrant green – bright kelly green and dark evergreen and small green oval leaves with spiky edges fluttering in the breeze, mottled with light and shadow from the tree leaves above. Silvery-green of fuzzy fresh sage. Wild yellow roses popping with bright color against the varied green background. Round spots of yellow on the ground from fallen leaves. The sky is a dark blue-gray wall of cloud. A rough surface of faded red bricks set into squares to make a path. That path spotted with off-white circular elm seeds and a few thin scraggly light brown twigs. A fluorescent orange Nerf bullet shockingly out of place on the reddish brown earth, nestled against a tuft of skinny blades of grass.
The numbing cigarette that I can barely even taste any more. Cotton mouth. Dehydrated. Replaced with tartness and a touch of sweet from a not-fully ripe strawberry. Firm yet juicy.
My bare feet on long feathery grass that is overdue for a cut. Wispy. The balls of my bare feet growing colder as I stand on the slightly damp ground during this last cold snap of the season. My denim jeans thick and rough to the touch. The firm bump of the round cool metal rivet. Walking inside my bare feet now feel poking sharp edges from gravel. A random twinge of an itch on my back, just out of reach.
Post mindfulness thought: I was so overcome by the beauty of spring it was too difficult to focus on a few things. I will work on spending more time with one thing and expanding how I describe my experience with it.
May 22, 2019 – Day 2
mostly silent. a hum of electronics, soft but noticeable because it is unwavering. a pop from my neck when I stretched.
a dusty scent. stale smoke. lingering baked chicken from dinner.
black background of the thin decorative carpet. covered with varying sizes of overlapping embellished circular shapes that are light gray or charcoal. a two-inch piece of rectangular paper that has a slight sheen. a small dish with light blue around the rim speckled with bits of dried brown dog food.
water. basically tasteless. no…heavy water with a mineral or even slightly metallic tinge to it. cool. refreshing.
firm pillow with heavy fabric of mixed textures: bits of chenille, rougher patches feel almost like denim or some sort of thinner upholstry. some small threads I almost didn’t notice because they are so light to the touch. hard metal zipper, cool.
May 23, 2019 – Day 3
My breath – a slight whistle. Gizmo snuggling into bed. Silence – except for a slight almost undetectable buzz. A fly buzzes by momentarily but it is soon silent again. A slight tap as my teeth touch.
A faint chemical smell – the remnant of a drier sheet lingering on my pillow case.
Straight rigid lines set 2 feet apart. Multiple shards of brown morphing into one another, some swirling into ovals, others running parallel, some looking like blurred water marks. Triangular shadows to the left of each line show they have depth.
Astringent. Minty. Fresh. Overpowering.
Soft fibers laying delicately on my skin. Cooler in this new spot. Supportive, form but giving comfort. A subtle twinge of pain on my hip… an almost itch that doesn’t quite need to be scratched.
May 24, 2019 – Day 4 and beyond
I’ve decided that having the goal of writing out my daily practice of 5 Senses Mindfulness was actually preventing me from truly doing the work most effectively. It was valuable as a writing practice, but finding the “right” words to describe my experience prevented me from truly sitting in the experience. I was remaining too removed. For this to become an effective self-soothing tool that I can use when truly needing it, I must practice it as a meditation. I need to focus on each sense and practice brushing the thoughts aside (not focus on the thoughts so I can write them down.) So, while I will continue to practice this daily for 2 weeks, I will not be posting my daily experience here.